Fighting for Female Domestic and Agricultural Workers’ Rights

Domestic and agricultural work are both tough jobs. These positions also come with low pay, long hours, and are frequently taken on by those with poor English speaking skills, migrant workers, non-citizens, and others that may not feel that they have the right, or ability, to speak up when they are mistreated. As such, female domestic and agricultural workers face sexual harassment at work at a rate not seen in any other occupation. To be sure, 80 percent of female farmworkers reported being recently sexually harassed or assaulted, as reported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Domestic workers, who are typically women and often women of color, are routinely threatened with rape if they upset an employer, and are commonly the victims of wage theft and harassment, according to Salon.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Offers Few Protections

Female agricultural workers and domestic workers put food on our dinner plates, and clean those plates when we are done eating. With 700,000 female agricultural workers and more than two million domestic workers, these women make up a huge section of a productive American workforce, yet they are routinely mistreated at work. Title VII offers few protections to these workers, who are often misclassified as independent contractors, or work for small employers who do not fall under Title VII—a hold over from the Jim Crow era when employers fought to keep domestic and agricultural workers (who are usually people of color) down on the social and economic ladder.

What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For You

If you were injured on the job as a domestic worker, you are almost guaranteed to fall under the protection of workers’ compensation. For agricultural workers, if your employer employs six or more employees (not counting the employer’s family members) for at least 20 days of a calendar year, they are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. An attorney can help you file for medical coverage, as well as partial wage replacement. If the injury was intentionally caused by your employer, such as sexual assault, you not only have the right to press criminal charges, but also the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for pain and suffering, emotional damages, medical costs, and more.

An Attorney Can Help You Today

As a female or male domestic worker or agricultural worker, you have rights even though Title VII does not do you justice. To take action today, contact the impassioned Wisconsin legal team of Novitzke, Gust, Sempf, Whitley & Bergmanis

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